To be wakened an hour before alarms jangle on the first day we’ve "sprung forward" to Daylight Saving Time borders on the inhumane.
Slumber interruption at an hour when sleep is deepest is about as welcome as an FAA inspector at a stockholders’ meeting of Southwest Airlines.
And it’s even worse when the raucous noise seems comparable to the sound emitted by the AFLAC duck with one foot in a mud puddle and the other in a light socket….
I wobbled to the window, and there stood my Uncle Mort on his golf cart, both jaws puffed as he blasted away on a duck call.
There were headphones dangling from the canopy, eight-track tape players in boxes and signs plastered all over the cart reading "honk if you’re tired of campaign commercials."
I’m here to tell you it was a sight equal to the farmer’s wife spotting of the blind mice. Mort’s vehicle of choice had always looked like what it is: a golf cart. He’d always pat it, kick a tire, and then brag on "miles per cup" of gasoline. This day, it looked more like a reject from a Shrine parade….
"I know it’s early, nephew," he began. "But when I see a clear path to a fast buck, I have to get moving. (Aunt Maude, back at home in the thicket, claims that her hubby’s "fast buck" ideas typically turn into plug nickels, and slow ones at that.)
He asked if I’m as tired of radio and TV pitches of political candidates as he is.
My mind, reeling with the ongoing spiels that clog the airways, was weary. I was only half awake, but my emphatic answer was easy: "Yes!"…
I told him of my sorrow that presidential elections fall on leap years, giving all candidates an extra 24 hours to spend gazillions of dollars on advertising. Mort nodded knowingly.
"And there’s so much sameness in those 30-second appeals," Mort pointed out.
Yep, we learn the names of campaign treasurers by heart, and that the respective candidates "approve the message." Mort sized it up well: "Who cares who the treasurers are, and shouldn’t message approval be determined by the voters instead of the candidates?"…
"I was up to my ears in paid political announcements the other day, but thankfully, the very next ad struck my fancy," Mort said. "It was for a duck call so authentic that it attracts decoys."
That explained the raucous noise that had wakened me, but it didn’t explain the headphones and tape players.
"Needing to strike while the iron is hot is why I’m getting an early start on the day," Mort continued apologetically, "And I need your help."
Slowly, the early morning picture became clearer. Mort explained how he’d "made a killing" on eBay, getting dozens of headphones and eight-track players for a quarter apiece.
"When I heard about that duck call, it came to me in a flash what to do," he bragged.
What he needed, at this juncture, was a repetitious recording of the duck call on an eight-track tape. Our fingers walked to "recording studios" in the Yellow Pages….
"The AFLAC people are no dummies," Mort observed. "They’ve figured out that a majority of folks enjoy hearing duck quacks."
Mort’s plan is to peddle the "quacking tapes" to people whose tolerance for political announcements is used up.
"I’ll drive up and down the highway on my golf cart, motorists will see my signs and honk," he speculated….
My uncle had his spiel "down pat." He explained how he planned to ask if they are so tired of hearing political ads, they’d prefer hearing ducks quack.
Judging their agreement with the arc of their nods, he’ll offer them a $20 package deal—an eight-track tape with the best duck call ever heard by man (or duck), along with one-size-fits-all headphones.
"When a guy claims that he doesn’t have an eight-track player, I’ll tell him that this is his lucky day," Mort smiled. "The deal includes an eight-track player, too." He drove away, continuing his heavy-duty blowing on the duck call. I went back to bed….
Dr. Newbury is a speaker and author in the Metroplex. He welcomes inquiries and comments. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 817-447-3872. Website: www.speakerdoc.com